Whether you’re a just-hooked newbie or seasoned yogi, your reasons for turning to yoga are personal. Physical strength? Balance in your day-to-day? Serious vibes? There’s no wrong answer—and CorePower Yoga gets that. On the eve of the national megabrand’s arrival in New York City (look out for its Upper West Side debut in late spring!), we’re teaming up to highlight the inspiring stories behind its star instructors. Because every #WhyIYoga moment = goals.
Chasing perfection is something we all struggle with in one form or another—even though doing so is a total confidence-killer. And for six-year CorePower Yoga vet Lara Gobins, discovering yoga was the antidote.
“Yoga creates possibilities,” she explains. “If you are open, anything is truly attainable. I tell my students to let go of any expectations and just allow themselves to exist—your body and breath, free of external clutter, [make] the world seem clearer.”
But for Gobins, a former classical musician who didn’t get into yoga until 2009, it wasn’t a direct path toward enlightenment. “The majority of my life consisted of studying music and performing with live orchestras,” she says. “I was feeling this weird conscious flip in my head. It’s a very perfectionist craft—I was trying to figure out who I was, and I knew that wasn’t me.”
“Yoga creates possibilities. If you are open, anything is truly attainable.”
So the lifelong oboist, who had performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, quit. “I realized that I was 40 pounds overweight, and really unhappy with my body and where I fit into the world,” Gobins explains. After her friends raved about CorePower Yoga, she decided to give it a try, and left her first class “awestruck, sweaty, and so alive.”
“I’m not a naturally athletic person,” Gobins says, explaining that she felt more at home in a music practice room than on a mat. But she persisted, and lost 40 pounds in the process. “Not only was I physically lighter, but mentally lighter.”
Two years later, she started teaching as a CorePower Yoga instructor—and now joins the New York City team as studio manager this spring. Even today, she strives to instill her message about having compassion for others—and yourself. “That’s all we think about when we obsess with perfection,” she says. “A conversation not going the way it should have, or not eating exactly what I should be eating. In my practice, I work to get rid of that perfection.”
Scroll down for the pose that makes Gobins feel like she can accomplish anything—plus, her favorite studio swag. (Hint: There’s cashmere involved.)
Her signature approach
“We’re the first people to tell ourselves what we can’t do, and we don’t ever really tell ourselves what we can do,” Gobins says. “Yoga helps us see what we’re really capable of.”
To that end, she gives it her all in the studio. On top of Yoga Sculpt, CorePower’s signature class that features weights and a heart-pumping flow (Gobins blasts Lady Gaga on the reg), she loves teaching C2, a more advanced class where instructors create their own sequences.
“What CorePower does that I love is that it’s safe,” she says. “Your body is always going to feel amazing when you get out of class, regardless of how much you did or how little you did.”
Her favorite pose
The pro yogi nails traditional headstand with a combination of physical prowess and serious focus. While it looks like you might be able to just kick your legs up into the pose, Gobins says that isn’t the case—it’s a gradual shift in movement.
“The core strength it takes to lift your legs slowly, and then overhead, truly makes you feel you can accomplish anything,” she explains. “This is the supreme pose of strength and surrender.”
1. RMS Beauty Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipe, $1; 2. Apple Watch, $269; 3. Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates, $15; 4. Alo Rib Support Tank, $62; 5. Kit and Ace Travel on Cardigan, $198; 6. Old Delhi Music Harmonium, $499
Gobins employs a plethora of must-haves to stay focused, both on and off the mat: a sturdy tank, on-the-go coconut oil facial wipes for a post-class swipe, and an Apple Watch to control volume and tracks while she teaches. “That way, I can truly focus on connection and what I’m talking about, rather than running back and forth,” she notes.
Meditation books help her to stay focused, and cashmere cardigans are an essential for running in and out of the studio. One recent purchase? A piano-accordion hybrid often used in Indian music. “Not only has this brought more mindfulness to sound therapy for myself,” she says, “but it’s also a tactile way to utilize my music degree!” Talk about coming full circle.
Stay tuned for CorePower Yoga’s first NYC studio in late spring. To learn more, go to corepoweryoga.com
Top photo: Tim Gibson for Well+Good